Under Fire Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What kind of meat have Blaire, Poupardin, and Pépin acquired when Chapter 18 opens?

2. How long does Joseph wait before receiving aid at the refuge?

3. What does the Foreign Legionnaire try to give to his comrade?

4. How is the refuge destroyed?

5. What does the German say about the religious services of both sides?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The equipment, appearance, and clothing of the poilus is discussed at length throughout the book. They are depicted as individuals, each with a unique look and personality. This individuality forms an important theme in the novel, demonstrating that the soldiers are normal people thrust into circumstances that they have difficulty adapting to and understanding. They maintain this individuality until the final chapter of the book, when the rain and mud make the men of both sides appear the same.

Part 1) Using examples from the book, explain how the author establishes the individuality of the soldiers on the basis of appearance.

Part 2) Discuss how this individuality reflects the soldier's unique backgrounds and temperaments.

Part 3) How does this individuality become an important theme in the novel? Why is it important that the author picks out and differentiates individuals among the masses of the French army? Explain how this theme is developed in the novel, starting with the introduction of the individual soldiers, and ending with the reflection near the end of the novel that war is made up of individuals, but that they fade into nothing in the grand scheme of the struggle.

Essay Topic 2

Near the end of the novel, religious themes are discussed frequently and in a serious fashion. The narrator himself reveals little about his faith or lack thereof, but the things he experiences clearly cause him to begin thinking about such matters in more detail. The men at the refuge discuss this subject in great detail. Appropriately, they ask more questions than they answer.

Part 1) How are religious themes developed throughout the novel. Explain how these themes are first introduced, where they are discussed most thoroughly and how, if at all, they are resolved.

Part 2) Explain the narrator's personal progression in this regard, citing examples to show his changing state of mind and increasing interest in the subject. Citing information from the book, explain why these changes take place.

Part 2) Explain some of the opinions of the poilus and other soldiers about religion and God. Explain how these opinions are consonant with their experiences and other opinions expressed at other points in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

The author makes it a point to center the narrative spotlight on a number of inexplicable or irrational actions on the part of the French army and its officers. The army does much that makes little sense, and this tends to reinforce the theme of hopeless and pointless waste.

Part 1) Describe some examples of actions on the part of the French army and its officers that seems to make little sense.

Part 2) Explain the reaction of the men of Bertrand's squad to this irrationality. Cite specific examples of these reactions and explain their significance.

Part 3) Speculate as to the reasoning behind some of these unexplained or mysterious actions. Could there be well-founded explanations for some of these behaviors? In the case of actions with no apparent explanation, speculate about how such an action became sanctioned and approved by the military.

(see the answer keys)

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